This unusual and intriguing collection of interlinked stories is set in a small, coastal town in Ireland, a town full of devious, eccentric, and lonely characters:
Albert is a recovering alcoholic who wants to help others and when he first sees a woman on the beach carrying a doll and speaking to it, he decides that she really need help.
Carmel steals small items from the local grocery shop. One of her neighbours catches her at it and uses the knowledge to attach herself to Carmel and her brother.
Wee Sadie lives with her mother who encourages her to accept the advances of the very shy, local butcher, George MacBride, but Sadie is still a virgin and fearful of intimacy.
Rosemary is a loner, so she is not pleased when her recently widowed sister invites herself for a protracted stay and things get worse when Vera takes a shine to her lover, Dominic.
Andy is seventeen years old and lives in a small flat with his partner, Lily, and their baby. Lily is always angry with him, and he can’t put up with it anymore.
Susan has been married for ten years with no sign of children but gets pregnant for her brother-in-law who is horrified when Susan suggests they might have more than one.
Dolly lives with her sister and is used by her as an unpaid housekeeper until she meets a man she likes. Her sister tries to come between them.
Julia is haunted by memories of her father. When the barman proposes marriage, she is torn between security and freedom.
Siblings, tells the story of the aging Maddens. They get a postcard announcing the visit of a forgotten cousin, but Martin, the youngest, can’t bear to have strangers in the house.
Jemima is an atheist, but religion has always intruded upon her life. When she wakes up in hospital after an accident, she meets the chaplain, and they fall in love.
Brigit lives with her parents. She is in love with a co-worker. He eventually asks her out and she is ecstatic. But she is shocked when her mother is hostile and her father indifferent.
Myrtle would like to have a cat and when a salesman calls, she orders a cat bed. The salesman returns and soon realises that there is no cat. Myrtle becomes violent.
May lives with her abusive husband, Henry. When Henry finds out she is going to self-development classes he decides to put her right with his fists.
Thelma spends her life looking after her bed-ridden husband. His friends crowd into his bedroom every day to drink and gamble. Thelma is trying to save and puts on a bet herself.
Angela is at her sister’s funeral. When they were children, she had played a trick on her which eventually led to her death. Caroline is sick with remorse.
Eleanor is married to Jack who only ever calls her ‘Pet’. Jack and his sister are tall and fair and confident – Eleanor is small and dark and very unhappy. She plans to kill her tormenters.
Paulie is fifteen years old and decides to try and kiss his girlfriend, but the results are not what he expected.
Man and Wife, is the story of Jim and Connie and the birthday boy they find naked outside the local pub. Connie insists that the boy come home with them. Jim tries to object.
Eugene Curran is a paranoid bully. His wife is on the pill even though he uses condoms. He suspects she is having an affair and sets out to discover the truth. . .
Many of these darkly humorous tales are grim, and some deal with abusive relationships, but you will love the unique characters in this book!
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